Tipp TD To Meet Environment Minister On Turf Ban Row

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill. Pic: Jackie Cahill/Facebook.

The Chairperson of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, Jackie Cahill and a number of other Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members are to meet with the Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan TD this afternoon to discuss the proposed ban on the commercial harvesting  of turf.

Deputy Cahill says given the rise in all fuel prices this is not the time to introduce a ban on turf as no alternative exists  in many parts of rural Ireland.

The Thurles based TD says FF are looking for a suspension on this proposed ban for a period of five years, until normality returns to the fuel markets, then he says we can discuss what he called “ this climate change initiative.”

The Taoiseach Micheal martin say a pragmatic solution will be found and that any measures brought in would not have an impact next winter, because by the time they were introduced, this year’s harvest would already have been saved.

The ban is due to come into force in September at the same time as a State-wide ban on smoky coal.

Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan has proposed an amendment which would see households in small villages or people living in rural one-off homes still be allowed to burn turf or sell small amounts to family and neighbours without being penalised.

Green Party Junior Minister Pippa Hackett, who is responsible for Land and Biodiversity, defended the measures as necessary to improve air quality saying that thousands of people had died over the last few years because of the failure to bring in such regulations in the past.